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Psychology & the Law

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on 2 December 2015

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Transcript of Psychology & the Law

Psychology & the Law
Theory and Research
Why do people commit crime?
Why do people stop committing crime?
Work with communities
Needs Assessment
Program development (e.g., after-school programs)
Program evaluation - do they work?
Law Enforcement
Who Becomes Police Officers?
Police selection instruments
Hiring practices
The Police as an Organization
Decision-making research
Bias, Stereotyping & Prejudice
Role of police officers
Stress Management
Program evaluations
Designing interventions
Policy & Laws
Research as the foundation for laws, programs and policies
Young offender laws
Legal defenses
Advocacy & Activism
Using our expertise to make positive changes in the judicial system
The Courtroom
Risk and Threat Assessment
Development & evaluation of risk assessment strategies
Police Investigation
Interviewing & questioning
Eye witness accounts
False confessions
Expert Testimony
Research (e.g., eye-witness testimony)
Social psychological theory (e.g., bystander effect)
Jury consulting
Juror decision-making research
Factors that impact sentencing
Parole decision-making
Applying psychology
to the law & to legal matters

A person robs a
store & is later arrested.
They are interviewed by the police, have a brief court appearance &
are then sent to jail.

Where is the social psychology?
Think back to the topics covered this semester...
think of a theory/study you liked.

How could it be applied to the law?
Broadly, it's "(a) the research endeavour that examines aspects of human behaviour directly related to the legal processes ... & (b) the professional practice of psychology within, or in consultation with, a legal system that embraces both civil & criminal law"
(Bartol & Bartol, 1987, p.3).
Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. M. (1987). History of forensic psychology. In I. B.
Weiner & A. Hess (Eds.),
Handbook of forensic psychology
(pp.3-21). New
York, NY: Wiley.

Haney, C. (1980). Psychology and legal change: on the limits of a factual
Law and Human Behavior
, 371-398.

Kassin, S. M., & Goldstein, C. C., & Savitsky, K. (2003). Behavioral
confirmation in the interrogation room: on the dangers of presuming guilt.

Law and Human Behavior
, 187-203.

Pozzulo, J., Bennell, C., & Forth, A. (2012).
Forensic psychology
(4th ed).
Toronto, ON: Prentice Hall.
the law
the law
the law
(Haney, 1980)
Final Exam
Saturday December 12th
7 - 9 pm
Toldo 100 & 102
120 multiple choice questions:

Part I: 40 Qs; old textbook material (chpt 8-10, 13, 14)
Part II: 40 Qs; new textbook material (chpt 12, 15, 16)
Part III: 40 Qs; lecture (since midterm 2)
Full transcript